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Dana White on Torres rehire: “Your opinions don’t mean [expletive] to me”

By Zach Arnold | December 29, 2011

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Watch ‘Dear Leader’ lay down his doctrine on who he hires & fires in this 18-minute interview at with Ariel Helwani (click on the picture)

Now, this… this turned out to be quite the interview for a lot of reasons if you study the psychology of this man. He declined to comment on the Alistair Overeem/NSAC steroid test situation. He claims that Brock Lesnar is ‘nearly a 2-to-1 underdog’ to Alistair Overeem (Overeem is only a -140 favorite, 7 to 5).

That wasn’t the only whopper. Sergio Non (@usatmma) recounted this quip from Dana yesterday:

“When I lie to you — I’m honest when I have to lie to you.”

The real meat of this interview is at the beginning when he’s asked to address why he fired-and-rehired Miguel Torres for his ‘rape tweet’ when Forrest Griffin got a pass for his Twitter antics (on the night Joe Paterno got the axe from Penn State) and Rashad Evans, despite getting eviscerated by Jim Rome on ESPN for his Jerry Sandusky crack towards Phil Davis (UFC Fox 2 Chicago presser), didn’t get the hammer dropped on him.

In short: Vince McMahon logic applies here. “Screw you, I’ll do whatever I want.” OK, here’s the long version:

ARIEL HELWANI: “We talked in Toronto. You said pretty definitively he’s not coming back. No way, no how. Why did you change your mind?”

DANA WHITE: “Well… I don’t know if I said he’s not coming back no way, no how. What I said, yeah, he’s been cut from the UFC. You know, he went out… and talked about something that you shouldn’t talk about on Twitter, it makes absolutely no sense whether you’re joking, whether it’s from a TV show, whatever it is… It makes no sense. So, when I was away on vacation, his manager texted me and said, ‘can we come in next week and meet with you?’ And I said yes and I set it up through my secretary. So, they did. They came in here (yesterday) and Miguel Torres sat on that court right there (yesterday) and, first of all, I haven’t talked to Miguel Torres since this whole incident, I haven’t talked to him at all. Umm… on his own, he went out and met with five rape crisis centers in Chicago, he donated money to all of them, he’s been taking rape sensitivity classes, and this whole thing has been a pretty traumatic experience for him and the things that he’s gone through the last, umm, the last several weeks.

“I am one of those people that ‘everybody f***s up, everybody makes mistakes.’ I do, you do, believe it or not, everyone who’s watching does. We all make mistakes and we will make more. What I judge a person on is how they handle themselves after they make those mistakes. You know… never once did Miguel Torres flip out and say, ‘oh, this or that’ or point the fingers at anybody else. He went out and handled his business like a man. There’s so many guys that I’ve seen in this sport that get busted for something and deny it and say that it’s not true and, you know, think that there’s conspiracies against them and all kinds of bull****. The way that Miguel Torres went out and handled this, I have nothing but respect for him and I truly and honestly know that he learned something from this situation and hopefully everybody else did, too. Because I’ll be honest with you — when I sat with him here today, it’s not like I haven’t through this. I’ve been through this same [expletive]. I know what it’s like, I know what happens. And everything that he said to me (yesterday) was from the heart, he means it, and I get it and I have nothing but respect for Miguel.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Are you at all concerned that now people will say, all right, Dana says something…”

DANA WHITE: “People say all kinds of [expletive]. I was criticized for cutting him. Now I’m going to be criticized for bringing him back. I don’t give a [expletive] what anybody thinks. I don’t care what the fans have to say about it. I don’t care what the reporters are going to say or write about it. You know, you can all have your opinions. Your opinions don’t mean [expletive] to me. I’m going to run this thing the way that I want to and I’m going to do things the way that I think it should be done. I know when I cut Miguel Torres that I did the right thing and I know I did the right thing (yesterday) by bringing him back.”

ARIEL HELWANI: “Does he return to the UFC in the same spot that he was in before this incident or does he have to sort of work his way back up?”

DANA WHITE: “No, he’s the same guy, the same fighter. He’s in the same position he was. I mean, him coming back has nothing to do with where he sits in this company or, you know, as far as a fighter or whatever. You know, I’ve had a little bit of interaction with Miguel Torres over the last several years. Nothing big, nothing great. My interaction with Miguel Torres (yesterday morning)… I really, really respect and like this guy a lot. First of all, like I said, nobody told him to do this. It wasn’t ‘go do this and maybe we’ll bring you back in the UFC.’ Never. We didn’t talk to him at all. … That’s the way I handle things. Everything is on a case-by-case basis and we’ll deal with, you know, stuff as it comes.”


Later on in the interview, Dana was asked to comment about Jon Fitch’s concerns that MMA is devolving into pro-wrestling. The reply was exactly what you would expect from Dana White in return.

“Heh heh. I would say that… First of all, I’m sure if he’s saying that guys who talk a lot a stuff, talking about a Chael Sonnen… Chael came back… Say what you want about Chael Sonnen, he backs that [expletive] up. Nobody’s ever in the history of the UFC fought Anderson Silva the way that Chael Sonnen did. Nobody. You know, he goes out, he puts on exciting fights, and he backs up everything that he says. Is the guy nutty? He’s nutty as hell, but he backs up everything that he says.

(Ed. — And he did it while admittedly using testosterone. Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.)

“People can think pro-wrestling or whatever… The problem with Jon Fitch is, you know, you hear this same thing from everybody about Jon Fitch. ‘If I want to fall asleep and I can’t get to sleep at night, I’ll put in a Jon Fitch fight.’ You know, and… whatever you think, Jon Fitch is one of the best 170 pounders in the world and, yes, he’s in the hunt for the title again. But everybody, I mean, find one person that will tell you that they love a Jon Fitch fight, it’s the most exciting thing they’ve ever seen and they just get so excited for it. So, when you say that you have a fight like (Donald) Cerrone and (Nate) Diaz on the card and a guy with a record like [Fitch’s] is on and people aren’t jumping out of their seats for that fight, you know, I think Jon needs to have a little bit of a, you know, he’s got to be a little honest with himself and have a little bit of a reality check when he talks about stuff like that.”

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 33 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

33 Responses to “Dana White on Torres rehire: “Your opinions don’t mean [expletive] to me””

  1. Jonathan says:

    I called it!

  2. EJ says:

    Boy Zach, you just can’t help it can you?. When it comes to Sonnen you just have to get in a shot every single time you post something about him, seriously it’s incredible to watch how easily he’s been able to work people like you.

  3. Steve4192 says:

    Dana clearly made a snap decision to cut Torres without putting too much thought into it and wound up regretting it. So he waited a few weeks and reversed himself.

    I for one am happy to see the guy back. You don’t CUT an athlete for being an idiot on twitter. Not even the No Fun League does that. You discipline him for sure, but you don’t terminate his career.

    • edub says:

      Agreed Steve. He rectified the situation, Torres got a good lesson in not being a dumbshit, and a guy got his job back who shouldn’t have been fired in the first place.

      Not the worst turn of events.

  4. Steve4192 says:

    Jon Fitch is both right and wrong.

    On the one hand, in any athletic endeavor, winning should be FAR more important than being entertaining.

    On the other hand, MMA is not a team sport where community/team loyalty is a driving factor in fan support. Individual sports are much more reliant on the connection between the individual athletes and the fans. If you don’t connect with the fans, you aren’t going to get paid. One way to build that connection is through exciting performances in the cage. Jon Fitch has not built that connection with the fans, and his career has suffered for it. It might not be ‘fair’, but life rarely is.

    • Nottheface says:

      Having not watched pro wrestling since the late 80s, but seeing the appeal it holds as evidenced by Sonnen fans, my advice to Fitch is to forge his own belt, crown himself king, or start acting and dressing like an Elvis impersenator. I think he’ll start getting “heat” immediately.

      • edub says:


        Boring fighters can turn into great showmen, and get paid too. Just look at Floyd Mayweather.

      • Steve4192 says:

        Personally, I think he should adopt a fake British accent and walk out to ‘Pomp & Circumstance’ with his dog Bricks acting as one of his corner men. Bricks got all the charisma in the family.

  5. Nottheface says:

    Am I the only one who loved Fitch vs BJ?

    • edub says:

      Nope thought it was a great fight. And that’s coming from a Penn nuthugger.

      Most of the people who talk about how the fight sucked, are the same ones who say Fitch did no damage to Bj in the final round.

    • Steve4192 says:


      I love watching Fitch fight, just like I love watching a pitcher throw a no-hitter or a college hoops team stymie an opponent with a suffocating defense. I find dominant athletic performances to be entertaining in and of themselves.

      That said, I recognize that I am in no way, shape or form, representative of the wider MMA fanbase. Just because I enjoy it doesn’t mean everyone else does.

  6. 45 Huddle says:

    1) Jon Fitch thinks that people who don’t enjoy his fights don’t understand MMA. Wow, he is delusional. I totally and completely understand MMA. I even have a high school wrestling background so I can somewhat relate to what Jon Fitch does. And I totally and completely understand his haters, and sometimes even join in with them. He is horrible to watch.

    Jon Fitch doesn’t have to become Chael Sonnen, but he certainly needs to give the fans some sort of his personality. What he gives us is dry and boring both in the cage and outside of it.

    2) I think it was a worse joke the short time period Dana White got rid of Miguel Torres. A worse joke then what Torres tweeted. Shame on the UFC for not having a more concrete discipline guidelines.

    3) To me the biggest thing that came out of this interview was Dana White saying “no comment” when asked about the drug testing of Alistair Overeem by the NSAC. White almost never does that, which means he was afraid to legally paint himself into a corner. Guys like White, Fertitta, & Ratner probably thought it was a bad joke how poorly it was handled.

    4) Big cheers for Ariel Helwani. He called out Dana White on how he said Alistair Overeem was not Top 10 a year or so ago. It was funny listening to White back track and still try to hold on to what he previously said. The funny thing is that a year ago Dana White was right. Alistair Overeem had no business being in the Top 10 based on who he was fighting. The problem is that now he is promoting him as being 1 fight away from a title shot, so now he must pump him up. Overeem is a 6 to 10 ranked fighter in my book right now.

    • david m says:

      Are you kidding? You parrot everything Dana says and now you want to pretend you were ahead of the curve or enjoyed watching Dana squirm? What a joke.

  7. Steve4192 says:

    Remember a few months back when Overeem split from Golden Glory there was a lot of discussion about management and training fees?

    American Top Team posted this on the UG today:

    From: AmericanTopTeam
    Posted: 21 minutes ago
    Member Since: 4/23/02
    Posts: 3527

    Hey Guys/Gals –

    We receive a lot of inquiries regarding our fee structure, for management and training of our fighters.

    We also hear a lot of mis-information as to what we do, and figured this was a good way to put it out there for all to see.

    We used to charge 20% to train and manage our fighters. If we only trained them and the fighter had his own management in place, we would charge 10% for training only.
    (For those that do not know – these percentages are per fight)

    After some discussions, as to how we can better help our fighters, we have decided to charge a flat 5% fee for both management and training.

    If the fighter has his own management, we will still only charge 5% for training.
    Each month, the 5% collected will be distributed to the staff at the gym. Everyone who works at the gym, from our coaches on down to the front desk personnel will split and share in the 5%.

    We are making this change for a couple of reasons. The most obvious one is to help our fighters by allowing them to keep more of the money they earn. Now, instead of paying 10% for training and another 10-20% for management, they will only have to pay 5% of their purse. Next, this change will help all those who work at the gym and do so much behind the scenes to make our team successful by giving them a monthly bonus equal to the 5%.

    Maybe somebody spiked our punch or maybe it’s just the holiday season, but we have always tried our best to help the fighters out and we feel this new pay structure will go a long way towards that goal.

    If anyone has a question they would like me to answer personally, aside from posting here, please feel free to e-mail me (Richie) at: [email protected]

    Happy Holidays to all.
    American Top Team


    If I were ran one of those gyms that charges athletes 35% of their earnings for management/training fees, I would be shaking in my boots right about now.

  8. liger05 says:

    Floyd mayweather isn’t boring. Floyd at 135lbs was awesome and as he moved up the weights as usual his power isn’t as effictive but his not a boring fighter. Just look at the Mosley fight or the ortiz fight it’s Floyd taking centre of the ring and forcing the action. He will always be a counter puncher but boring he is not.

    • edub says:

      I’ll assume you were responding to me:

      I’ve watched every Floyd fight from the time he entered the professional ranks. He finished fights very well up until he hit 147. The only guy he’s legitimately finished since the move is Ricky Hatton, and that was because Hatton is so reckless. Ortiz I can’t count because it was a sham of a victory (no fault to him, he just took what Victor gave him).

      I can watch Floyd fight all day. IMO he is the best combat sports athlete I have ever personally seen compete. However, I’m not the average fan. The average fan watches a flawless PBF performance and yawns. The standard I was talking about is how the general public views Floyd, and they would most certainly call his style boring.

      Furthermore, his immense popularity and wealth didn’t come from his dominance in the ring. It came from his brash outspoken ways, and his ability to sell a fight better than anyone in the past 4-5 years. He took over the mantle for PPV king from De la Hoya, and he kept it because of his personality.

  9. liger05 says:

    I agree but I would say the guys his fought at 147lbs are not don’t really get stopped. Mosley always survives , jmm is a warrior who even when put down lasts the distance and to be honest I think Ortiz was on the way to getting knocked out. He was getting nailed with lead right hands at will and he would of been stopped.

    Yes you are right Floyd’s drawing ability has more to do with his heel character and there are a bunch of people who wanna see him lose.

  10. david m says:

    I loved Dana’s comments on Jon “Melatonin” Fitch.

    I also find it odd that Zach, the biggest pro wrestling mark on the intrawebs, always takes shots at Chael Sonnen, a guy who has brought the pro wrestling swag to mma more than anyone.

    • Nottheface says:

      I think Zach is offended by the cheating and how many people give Chael a pass on said cheating because he’s entertaining.

      • david m says:

        Everyone, not just Chael, gets a pass. Roy Jones, James Toney, Couture, Henderson, Hughes, GSP (vaseline), Sylvia, Leben, Bonnar, Sherk, etc etc etc etc. The list of mma cheaters is almost as long as the list of mma fighters. Getting pissy over Chael being popular despite being a cheater is ridiculous.

        Chael is the most entertaining man in mma; he is the closest thing the sport has to Floyd, except funnier. He is someone who should be lauded for his talents, not criticized more than other cheaters just because he also happens to have exceptional microphone skills.

        • Nottheface says:

          Well none of those guys threw the NSAC under the bus the way Chael did. As for Henderson, you can’t say he’s cheating when he been cleared to use TRT by the ACs..

        • Jason Harris says:

          I thought the GSP (vaseline) myth only lived on with the denialists over at “BJ never lost! BJ COULD NEVER LOSE! THEY CHEATED! SUE THEM, MOMMY!”

        • david m says:

          Nottheface: I mean, taking testosterone is what Chael was doing. One can’t be cheating and the other not.

          JH: Do you dispute that GSP used vaseline on other parts of his body than his face? Using vaseline on your body is against the rules. He/his team intentionally cheated. It was no different morally than Margarito putting plaster of paris in his gloves–he did an illegal act that was done to facilitate seriously hurting his opponent. Your dumbass retort about BJ’s mom being at the NSAC hearing is entirely unrelated to the fact that GSP cheated.

  11. Alan Conceicao says:

    So, is this the official UFC 141 thread? For the fight card that’s tomorrow? I guess if so, my DA BIZ prediction is that the PPV does below the 500K buy estimates Meltz and so on are suggesting and everyone refuses to blame Lesnar again, instead blaming the time slot/date like they did TUF from keeping the millions and millions of Lesnarmaniacs from watching.

    Oh, and since there’s actually a fight to talk about with Brock Lesnar, I guess I have him losing, in large part because its been a couple years since he has gotten in a ring and not totally gotten trucked in Round 1 by anyone. And he hasn’t fought in over a year. And he’s 35 now. And he had a serious medical issue that has kept him barely active. So yeah. Overeem by KO, I guess. Which is too bad, because Lesnar youthful and healthy probably smashes him to bits. Has all the right skills and background to do it.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      It’s going to do 700,000 to 750,000 buys. And Lesnar is going to win by KO’ing him on the ground in the first.

    • Nottheface says:

      I think it does 650k or so partly because of the day and time change but mostly because he doesn’t have the belt and the number of buyers is slipping.

      And I’m going with Overeem to. I just can’t go with a guy in his mid 30s who hasn’t fought in over a year, has looked bad in his last two fights, and mostly because he spent half his time over the last couple years recovering from almost dying.

    • Chromium says:

      Alan Conceicao – So, is this the official UFC 141 thread?

      No, it is not. I imagine Zach will bring that back tomorrow. The official UFC thread started quite some time ago and like every other UFC event thread it gets brought back when card updates happen and again on the day of the event.

      As for Dana White, I don’t have a problem with him bringing Miguel Torres back. What he did did not warrant being fired. Dana White both covered his ass, said he’s fine with the heat he’ll get for the back-pedal, and put over Torres when he brought him back, all as a good promoter should. Do I see Dana White stretching the truth? Yes. Do I see a lack of contrition? I believe so. Do I see him outright lying? Possibly, and apparently he definitely lied about Mir. Am I seeing him doing anything downright despicable here? No. Is he making the best decision both for the company and the fans? Yes, as far as I’m concerned. Is he going about this in a way that saves face for both the UFC and Torres? Yes, as far as I can tell. Did I blast him when he initially fired Torres? Yes, even if I don’t remember doing it here. Am I inclined to give Dana White a pass for bringing Torres back? Yes.

  12. Darkmader says:

    I listened to Breen when he started and he was great. He would break down fights logically. Then when he got more air time all of a sudden he turned to big words that honestly 90% of us will have to decipher what words he brings into the talk because he’s so smart.

    Todd Martin/Metlzer/Alverez is where it’s at. I remember Gus 100% live of Breen talking to him after the show and he just slammed him.

    Breen is a gimmick, as he’s a smart mark for MMA. He does these big words now cause he’s high up in sherdog, but my f’n god. Listen to him with Meltzer and Alverez.

    Zach falls in the same deal with Meltzer and Alverez. They know the business because they’ve studied it before for the past 15 years+.

    • Mark says:

      I am fond of Dave & Bryan (well, Bryan when he isn’t having temper tantrums.) But Todd Martin sucks. He’s boring, he’s wrong on more issues than you can shake a stick at, and he has never entertained nor informed me of anything. Breen is way better than that guy and I don’t like Jordan either.

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